On November 2, 2020 the Baker-Polito Administration announced new measures to curb the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations, and the rise in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) census in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts public health data indicates that Covid-19 cases are rising, with cases up by 278% and hospitalizations up by 145% since Labor Day.
These new measures include a Stay At Home Advisory issued by the State’s Department of Public Health, Revised Face Coverings Order No. 55, Early Closing and Alcohol Order No. 53, and Further Revised Gatherings Order No. 54. All orders and advisories will become effective Friday, November 6th at 12:01 AM.
The following information is excerpted from the Governor’s press release and posted on the Mass.gov website.
New Orders & Advisories:
Stay At Home Advisory: The Administration issued a revised Stay At Home Advisory to ensure residents avoid unnecessary activities that can lead to increased COVID-19 transmission. The revised Stay At Home Advisory instructs residents to stay home between 10 PM and 5 AM. The Advisory allows for activities such as going to work, running critical errands to get groceries and address health needs, and taking a walk.
Click here to read the revised Stay At Home Advisory: www.mass.gov/stayhome or log onto https://www.mass.gov/news/stay-at-home-advisory.
Early Closure of Businesses and Activities: Governor Baker issued a new executive order that requires the early closure of certain businesses and activities each night at 9:30 PM. The 9:30 PM closure requirement is aligned with the Stay At Home Advisory and together the two new initiatives are designed to further limit activities that could lead to COVID-19 transmission.
Effective November 6, the following businesses and activities must close to the public each day between the hours of 9:30 PM and 5:00 AM.
- Restaurants (in-person dining must cease at 9:30 PM, although takeout and delivery may continue for food and non-alcoholic beverages, but not alcohol)
- Liquor stores and other retail establishments that sell alcohol must cease alcohol sales at 9:30 PM (but may continue to sell other products)
- Adult-use marijuana sales must cease at 9:30 PM (not including medical marijuana)
- Indoor & outdoor events
- Theaters/movie theaters (including drive-in movie theaters), and performance venues (indoor and outdoor)
- Youth and adult amateur sports activities
- Golf facilities
- Recreational boating and boating businesses
- Outdoor recreational experiences
- Casinos and horse tracks/simulcast facilities
- Driving and flight schools
- Zoos, botanical gardens, wildlife reserves, nature centers
- Close contact personal services (such as hair and nail salons)
- Gyms, Fitness Centers and Health Clubs
- Indoor and outdoor pools
- Museums/cultural & historical facilities/guided tours
Click here to read the new executive order or log onto https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-order-53/download (including full list of businesses required to close at 9:30 PM).
Face Covering Order: Governor Baker also signed an updated order related to face-coverings. The revised order requires all persons to wear face-coverings in all public places, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. The revised order still allows for an exception for residents who cannot wear a face-covering due to a medical or disabling condition, but it allows employers to require employees to provide proof of such a condition. It also allows schools to require that students participating in in-person learning provide proof of such a medical or disabling condition.
Click here to read the revised face-coverings order or log onto https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-order-55/download.
Gatherings Order: Governor Baker also signed an updated order restricting gatherings. The new gatherings order reduces the gathering size limit for gatherings at private residences: indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25 people. The limit on gatherings held in public spaces and at event venues (e.g. wedding venues) remains the same. The new order also requires that all gatherings (regardless of size or location) must end and disperse by 9:30 PM.
The new gatherings order also requires that organizers of gatherings report known positive COVID-19 cases to the local health department in that community and requires organizers to cooperate with contact tracing. The gatherings order authorizes continued enforcement by local health and police departments and specifies that fines for violating the gathering order will be $500 for each person above the limit at a particular gathering.
Click here to read the revised gatherings order or log onto https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-order-54/download.
Click here to download this notice as a PDF file.